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Thu, 22 Apr 2021
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Alarm Clock

New Zealand woman leaves newborn baby in car to go grocery shopping with note to call her on cell phone if there's a problem

A mother left her baby in her car
© Facebook
A mother left her baby in her car at a Porirua, New Zealand supermarket with a note reading "My mum's in doing the shopping, call her if I need anything."
A mother who left her baby alone in a parked car with a note instructing passersby to call 'if I need anything' has attracted anger from around the world, and may face prosecution, too.

A mom sparked outrage by leaving her newborn baby alone in a car with a note saying: "My mum's in doing the shopping, call her if I need anything."

The message, with the woman's cell phone number, was spotted in a vehicle parked outside a Pak 'n Save supermarket in Porirua, New Zealand, at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

Shocked passersby took pictures of the sleeping baby and posted them on Facebook, prompting a wave of anger from across the world.

The mom would face a $1,600 fine for leaving a child under the age of 14 alone for an unreasonable time if prosecuted.

Bizarro Earth

Student dies after battle with Aetna

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© Courtesy Arijit Guha
Graduate student Arijit Guha is shown in this undated photo.
Arijit Guha, an Arizona State University graduate student who successfully tussled with health insurance giant Aetna over his medical bills last year, has died at 32, according to a close friend.

His wife, Heather Ehlers, created Facebook in tribute to this life, remembering him as a "rabble rouser, do-gooder, mustache enthusiast."

"His life was one of love, optimism, joy, humor, and compassion, and this page is to celebrate that life," she wrote.

People

Gypsies flock to bridal fair as parents negotiate

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© Valentina Petrova/AP Photo
People watch Roma girl and boy, from the Kalaidzhi community, dance on the trunk of a car, during the so called "Roma bridal market," March 23, 2013.
Donka Hristova lets her mother pull her skintight mini-dress a half-inch down her leg. Checking her makeup one last time, she joins her two younger sisters in a provocative dance.

The Gypsy girl knows she has to look her best. She is, after all, on an important life mission: catching the eye of one of the hundreds of young Gypsy guys prowling around what locals have dubbed the "bridal market" to initiate a complex ritual of haggling that could lead to marriage.

Love's not exactly for sale here. But in the litter-strewn parking lot that hosts the fair, amid blaring Gypsy pop and saucy flirtation, negotiations are churning quietly behind the scenes as families weigh their financial compatibility along with the merits of the prospective bride.

Often, the future of entire families is in the balance as these Roma, among the most poverty-stricken people in a deeply impoverished region, seek to forge mutually beneficial unions that will help them weather Bulgaria's brutal economic downturn.

Globalization adds to the economic pressures. The families gathered here are part of a community of about 18,000 Roma known as Kalaidzhi, who traditionally make a living as coppersmiths. That trade is dying out, in part because traditional copper pots and pans are being replaced by less expensive goods from China.

Briefcase

Judge: Manson disciple can't keep tapes from LAPD

A federal judge in Texas says the Los Angeles Police Department should be able to obtain the decades-old taped conversations between a Manson family disciple and his attorney.

Judge Richard A. Schell ruled Sunday that Charles "Tex" Watson waived his right to attorney-client privilege when he allowed the lawyer to sell the tapes to an author.

A bankruptcy court ruled last year that the LAPD should get the tapes, but Watson appealed.

Family

In Russia, teen complains of adoptive US parents

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© Nikolay Alexandrov/AP Photo
In this photo taken on March 20, 2013, Alexander Abnosov shows his American passport to journalists in the Volga river city of Cheboksary, Russia with his 72 -years old grandmother is in the background.
A teenager adopted by an American couple has returned to Russia after five years claiming that his adoptive family treated him badly and that he lived on the streets of Philadelphia and stole just to survive, according to Russian state media reports.

The allegations by Alexander Abnosov, now 18, will likely fuel outrage here over the fate of Russian children adopted by Americans. It's an anger that the Kremlin has carefully stoked to justify its controversial ban on U.S. adoptions.

Russia's Channel 1 and Rossiya television - which are both state controlled - reported Tuesday that Abnosov returned from a Philadelphia suburb to the Volga river city of Cheboksary, where his 72-year-old grandmother lives.

Russian media identified the teen as Alexander Abnosov, but also show him displaying a U.S. passport that gives his name as Joshua Alexander Salotti.

Abnosov, who spoke in a soft voice and appeared somewhat restrained, complained to Rossiya that his adoptive mother was "nagging at small things."

"She would make any small problem big," he said on Channel 1. He also told Channel 1 that he fled home because of the conflicts with his adoptive mother, staying on the streets for about three months and stealing.

Briefcase

Amanda Knox 'shocked' by court ruling that she will be tried again for murder

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Amanda Knox
was "shocked" by Italy's Supreme Court ruling today that she must be retried for the 2007 murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher.

Knox spent four years in prison before an Italian appeals court threw out her murder conviction in 2011 and she had been hoping the court would uphold the appeals court ruling and end her six year ordeal.

Instead she was told that the marathon legal battle would continue for her and for her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, who had been convicted along with her.

The court also refused to vacate her conviction for slander over her identifying her employer, Patrick Lumumba, as the person who killed Kercher. It was a statement, she claims, she made under police duress.

"She is shocked and very sad," Knox's lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova said. "She thought this was the end of a nightmare."

In a statement Knox said the court's decision was "painful" and "completely unfounded and unfair."

Phoenix

Man set himself on fire at Costa Mesa, California nail salon

A man walked into a Costa Mesa nail salon about noon Sunday, doused himself in flammable liquid and set himself on fire, police said.

A woman from whom the man had been estranged, either his wife or his girlfriend, was inside the salon at the time, according to a Costa Mesa police spokesman.

Someone grabbed a fire extinguisher and doused the flames and the man was rushed to a nearby hospital, police said.

Cardboard Box

Poverty hits America's suburbs

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© David Friedman | NBC News
Tara Simons, left, and her daughter Alexis talk in their kitchen in West Hartford, Conn.
Like many Americans who move to the suburbs, Tara Simons came to West Hartford, Conn., because she wanted her daughter to grow up in a nice, safe place with good schools.

Her fall from a more financially secure suburban life to one among the working poor also happened for the same reason it's happened to so many others. She had a bout of unemployment and couldn't find a new job that paid very well.

As a single mother, that's made it hard to hold on to the suburban life that is, in her mind, key to making sure her daughter gets off to the right start.

"I'm basically paying to say I live in West Hartford," she said. "It is worth it."

It's a struggle that many Americans bruised by the weak economy can relate to.

The number of suburban residents living in poverty rose by nearly 64 percent between 2000 and 2011, to about 16.4 million people, according to a Brookings Institution analysis of 95 of the nation's largest metropolitan areas. That's more than double the rate of growth for urban poverty in those areas.

"I think we have an outdated perception of where poverty is and who it is affecting," said Elizabeth Kneebone, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-author of the research. "We tend to think of it as a very urban and a very rural phenomenon, but it is increasingly suburban."

Comment: The mainstream media rarely reports the truth about America's ongoing economic descent but the statistics tell a different story:
Extreme Poverty Is Now At Record Levels - 19 Statistics About The Poor That Will Absolutely Astound You
America's Descent into Poverty
Half of America In Poverty? The Facts Say It's True


Coffee

Starbucks CEO rebukes anti-gay corporate pressure group

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Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has attracted a large measure of notice from the blogosphere following a shareholder meeting this past Wednesday, where he inadvertently waded into political waters by rebuking an opponent of same sex marriage.

The incident occurred when Starbucks shareholder Tom Strobhar of the Corporate Morality Action Center, an anti-gay corporate pressure group, raised the issue of Starbucks having been recently boycotted by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). This, Strobhar suggested, had lost the company money and suggested they might want to backtrack on the issue.

"In the first full quarter after this boycott was announced, our sales and our earnings, shall we say politely, were a bit disappointing," Strobhar said.

Schultz could have responded to this indictment with platitudes, or simply addressed it in the least offensive way possible. This, however, he did not do. Rather, he launched into a full-throated defense of the company's pro-gay stance.

Monkey Wrench

Confirmed: 'Rat-like animal' caused massive Fukushima power outage

rat like animal
© AFP Photo / Tepco
This handout picture taken by Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) on March 20, 2013 shows the body of a dead rat which may have caused the short-circuit of a switchboard at TEPCO's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in the town of Okuma in Fukushima prefecture

A "rat-like animal" was the cause of a power supply problem that disabled cooling systems at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant last week. The rodent touched a switchboard and triggered a short circuit, Tepco Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said.

The 25-centimeter-long animal was found dead in the switchboard, a TEPCO official told Kyodo News.